Newmont Mining reported on October 30, that its Akyem gold project in Ghana and its Phoenix copper leach project in Nevada have safely achieved commercial production, on schedule and on budget. 

Akyem is a large, open-pit mine in the Birim North District in the eastern region of south Ghana, about 180 km northwest of the capital city of Accra. Gold production during its first five years of operation is projected at 350,000 to 450,000 oz/y at costs applicable to sales of $500 to $650/oz. All-in sustaining costs during the first five years are estimated at $750 to $850/oz. Gold production during 2013 will be in the range of 50,000 to 100,000 oz.

Capital to develop the Akyem project will total approximately $950 million, of which $920 million had been incurred through September 30. At December 31, 2012, the project had proven and probable gold reserves of 7.4 million oz and an estimated mine life of approximately 16 years

The Phoenix copper leach project is an expansion of the Phoenix mine located approximately 16 miles south of Battle Mountain, Nevada. The project recovers copper from material previously classified as waste through leaching and processing at a solvent extraction/electrowinning (SX/EW) facility.

Average annual copper production during the first five years of operation is projected at approximately 20 million lb/y at costs applicable to sales of $1.75 to $2/lb. Copper production during 2013 will be in the range of 4 million to 5 million lb. Development capital will total approximately $175 million, of which $156 million had been incurred through September 30.

At December 31, 2012, the Phoenix copper leach project had proven and probable copper reserves of 740 million lb and an estimated mine life of approximately 20 years.

“Our employees and contractors in Ghana and Nevada did a great job delivering these projects into full production safely and efficiently,” Newmont President and CEO Gary Goldberg said. “Akyem is a core asset that will deliver profitable gold production at competitive costs, and the copper we produce at Phoenix from what was once classified as waste will improve our copper cost position.” 

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